BGC Okanagan is shedding its old brand with the goal of reflecting their values of inclusivity and positivity. (BGC Okanagan/Facebook)

BGC Okanagan is shedding its old brand with the goal of reflecting their values of inclusivity and positivity. (BGC Okanagan/Facebook)

Boys and Girls Clubs Okanagan re-brands to be more inclusive

The club has removed gender from its name

You may be familiar with the Boys and Girls Clubs of the Okanagan, but from now on, the organization is now called BGC Okanagan.

BGC Okanagan announced the rebrand after giving hints on social media for some time.

“Because we open our doors to all children, youth and families and we believe our name should reflect that,” the non-profit said in a statement.

“Removing gender from our name echoes the inclusive practices we’re known for, while still having recognition of the work we have done in communities across the Okanagan for the past 63 years.

“It also embraces the fact that we proudly serve young people and families of all ages, backgrounds and identities.”

BGC Okanagan CEO Jeremy Welder said the Boys and Girls Clubs brand was a barrier in some ways as the language was not inclusive.

“The language was dated, non-inclusive and not representative of our core values of belonging, respect, encouragement and support, working together and speaking out,” Welder said.

The rebrand was a year-long process led by BGC Canada as clubs worked with communities to ensure everyone felt welcome at each branch. BGC Canada consulted with LGBTQ2S+ community members, stakeholders, youth and club leaders from across the country.

BGC Okanagan said it hopes that in time, people will stop referring to them as Boys and Girls Clubs and that BGC Okanagan will instead stand for something else with a more positive meaning.

“In the meantime, we will continue to offer community-based services, essential programs and promote a place of inclusivity and positivity for all children, youth and families,” Welder said.

For more information on programs and services offered at BGC Okanagan, visit their website.

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